STAR-POST (Art) January 2020 FINAL_STAR Post Art Jan 2020 - Page 20

Choice-based learning outcomes Product – Demonstrating Understanding through Choice-Based Learning Inevitably, when it comes to Differentiated Instruction, teachers tend to be concerned about the varied outcomes and assessment criteria. To mitigate this, the teacher could craft the module with knowledge of their students’ learning abilities in mind. In this module, the art task for students was to create a series of animal-themed merchandise that would serve as souvenirs for the Wildlife Reserves Singapore. As a means to develop students’ drawing skills and fulfil their roles as product designers, they were equipped with learning opportunities in both realistic drawing (which can be more challenging) and illustrative drawing (which is more representational in nature). These two drawing styles were intentionally selected to provide a choice-based learning approach in order to cater to the students’ learning needs. They had the liberty to choose between these two styles and determine which method suited them best, or would challenge them most. A conscious decision was hence made as a designer, to execute the chosen style depending on their strengths. This process allowed students to own the work they created. Be it in the realistic or illustrative style, all the students created their series of designs for the animal-themed merchandise at the end of the module. Everyone delivered the task and felt accomplished! 20 As rightly put by Tomlinson, Differentiated Instruction “offers different approaches to what students learn, how they learn it, and how they demonstrate what they’ve learned.” It helps teachers to optimise learning and make effective learning occur. Ultimately, I want my students to believe in their inherent abilities, to embrace their strengths, be affirmed and feel encouraged. I believe that most of us as educators adopt some form of Differentiated Instruction in our classrooms. It is the pride of the teacher when students walk out of the classroom believing that they have achieved something. Differentiated Instruction has liberated the ‘should and should not’ of teaching, and both teachers and students can benefit from the teaching and learning experiences. References: Clapper, T. C. (2010). Creating the safe learning environment. PAILAL, 3(2), 1-6. Heacox, Diane (2002), Differentiating Instruction in the Regular Classroom. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing. Tomlinson, C. A. (2017). How to Differentiate Instruction in Academically Diverse Classrooms. Third Edition. ASCD. 21